Flying With Fido
I’ve talked before about overnight dog-friendly tips for traveling in the NYC area, but what if you want to get out of town and you’re not into road-tripping? Summer is winding down and you may be looking to take one last getaway and if you’re like me, you’d prefer not to leave those precious pups behind! Well, airlines are buckling down on a number of things, it’s true – like luggage restrictions, in-flight services and more – but you can still find wants to get your pooch into the friendly skies. Part of the reason flying with dogs has become even more complicated is because airlines are tightening up rules to help ensure your pet is safe throughout the flight – and that’s a good thing!
If your dog fits under the seat in front of you, things are still relatively easy. Of course, with updated carry-on restrictions and airlines charging for checked bags, you may be forced to check a second carry-on and incur that cost. But at least you’ll have your dog with you through the flight.
For pups that are larger than that, be aware that weather restrictions may exist for your airline. Maybe won’t transport animals in very cold or very hot weather – which may pose a problem in August, depending on where you’re flying to! At least one major airline (Southwest) won’t transport dogs under any condition. Although different carriers have different restrictions, it’s usually not because it just gets too hot or too cold in the cargo bay. They’re kept in a live-animal hold that’s kept between 50 and 70 degrees
You should also be aware that on some airlines, your dog can travel as checked luggage – which, even with the newly imposed baggage charges on many airlines, may still be cheaper than paying for your dog to “fly.” On other airlines you may only be allowed to send your dog as cargo. In both cases your dog will travel in a pressurized luggage compartment— the one that’s kept between 50 and 70. But generally, dogs shipped as cargo are carefully monitored and handled by experts responsible for handling precious and fragile items – which of course means a greater cost.
And be prepared to show paperwork: most airlines require a health certificate issued by your vet no more than 30 days – or ten days for some – before departure and a current rabies vaccination certificate. Check out the USDA’s site for some more tips on pet travel.
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